By Adam Steel
Leading Teesside IT firm Cornerstone Business Solutions has increased its football sponsorship profile and brand awareness by sponsoring Darlington Football Club’s dugouts and Redcar Athletic’s new stand.
Stockton company Cornerstone was already heavily involved in football, having been Championship club Middlesbrough’s official technology partner since 2015, as well as a significant ongoing Boro sponsor and Riverside Stadium advertiser.
And its name and logo now adorns both the home and away dugouts at Darlington’s Blackwell Meadows ground, where it will remain for the rest of the campaign and the following two seasons.
In addition, multi-award winning Cornerstone sponsor two advertising hoardings behind the goals at the ground of the Vanarama National League North club after becoming one of the Quakers’ latest commercial partners.
The company is also committed to sponsoring Redcar Athletic’s new stand at Green Lane for the rest of the campaign and beyond as the club continues to develop and comply with Northern League ground rules following promotion from the Wearside League.
The sponsorship deals came about through a combination of existing links to both clubs and Cornerstone’s passion for football.
“I’m a massive Boro fan, just like all of our staff at Cornerstone, but I’m also a massive fan of football in general at all levels,” explained the firm’s managing director Chris Petty.
“Darlington’s operations manager Craig Morley asked me if we would be willing to get involved as a sponsor, and from a brand awareness point of view it makes sense for us.
“The corporate area at Darlington is on a balcony looking down on the dugouts, so our name and logo are in prime positions being on them and behind both goals.
“Redcar Athletic’s secretary Kevin Fryett is a lovely bloke, and with both clubs being well-supported I was happy to give Athletic some backing as well.”
Promoting Cornerstone in wider areas of the region was also a motivating factor behind both sponsorship deals, said Petty.
“We pride ourselves on being Teesside’s leading information technology company and a lot of people already know about us in the Middlesbrough and Stockton areas, especially through the Boro,” he added.
“But we’re a Tees Valley company as well. Sponsoring the football clubs in Darlington and Redcar stretches our name right out into those parts of the region.”
Alongside its new football sponsorships and corporate box at the Riverside Stadium, which it uses to entertain clients, Cornerstone is currently sponsoring Middlesbrough’s home and away shorts for the second successive season.
The business also sponsors corners at the Riverside Stadium – which appear as ‘Cornerstone Corners’ on the big screen – as well as advertising on revolving electronic pitchside boards, sponsoring wine coolers in the hospitality suites and the club’s mobile app.
Such advertising has netted Cornerstone work with key companies including Virgin Media, and the firm is currently in discussions to open a new branch in Leeds this year, having already secured business in West Yorkshire.
There are also plans to open new offices in Manchester and Birmingham, and a target of achieving a £10m turnover in the next five years.
Cornerstone partner with global technology brands such as IBM, Lenovo, Microsoft, Cisco, Mitel and BT to provide their clients with cutting edge business and mobile communications solutions.